Email Address: eli.dial@myldsmail.net

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Frozen and Robots

Hola, everyone!

How's the weather up there???  Down here it was consistently around 70 or above, until last Tuesday, when BOOM. 45 degrees all day. Yeah, we froze, but now it's consistently around 55 or above, so no snow for us.  :)

This week has been a good one!  Many new things were tried, a lot of fun was had, and missionary work happened! 

First off, last Sunday we had an amazing lesson with an investigator and were able to put him on date for baptism!  Two days later, we found out from the less-active family he was living with, that he had to go back to his house with his parents (that's code for he got kicked out).  Unfortunately, he lives in Blue Water... in the Gallup stake, in the Farmington Mission... :(

But Taylor, the 10 year old from the Gallup stake, is going to be baptized here!  They are going to transfer her records over here to the Laguna Branch, so that is going to be epic!

We have zone conference tomorrow, so that'll be fantastic, and it  will be a lot of fun!  Elder Cornelison and I will be giving a training, stay tuned for scenes from our early Christmas episode... :D  (Yes, our training is on something for Christmas)


The last week or so, I've been realizing that missionaries have a robot mode, especially when teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the 3rd lesson. A lot of times, we start off with faith in Christ, which is a good starting point, but NOT the best starting point.  The first point tells the why of the Gospel of Christ: Through Christ we can be cleansed from sin.  Having faith in Christ, repenting, following Christ through baptism and through partaking of the sacrament, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost don't mean as much to me unless I am cleansed from my sin.  That just so happens to be the main message that Corianton in the Book of Mormon was supposed to share with the Zoramites (Alma 39: 15-16).  As shared in the scripture, this "prepares our minds" for what? For anything that comes our way!!  If our minds aren't prepared, it becomes extremely difficult to do anything!  So study the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be prepared!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Sanity: Who needs it??

(Elder Dial sent this email on 10/9/2017)

Happy late birthday in September to Adi and cousin Levi!

Pictures:  that's Elder Nelson and I on exchanges, we hiked a mountain for morning workouts.  Cause we can do that. :)



2: that's the truck we have, and the trailer we live in.  After 8 months of me being here, there's the picture of what we live in.  XD



3:  The sunset. FYI, that water is not usually there... Either that person decided to flood irrigate, or the rain just stayed there after like 3 days without rain.  I think it was the rain- we got enough that that would happen. XD



The reason for the title of this email, is that I've been going crazy being here for as long as I have been... I was starting to lose my mind about 4 months ago, but now I've gone completely bonkers...that's alright, my sanity was never really consistent anyways, as is shown in picture 4. 



We were on exchanges with the spanish elders, and we did a role play with this guy as the investigator... His name is Wormtail.  We started teaching him by saying, "We don't have much time, and we know you've been busy trying to kill Harry Potter, but..."  

This week started off discouraging, but it ended on a good note yesterday!  We've been telling people about the ratio rule, and a couple people have gotten offended. I feel kinda bad, but that's their choice for not liking our obedience to God.  If we are converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then that wouldn't be a problem-  but that's alright, we'll help them out as much as we can- that's why we're here!

We found a new investigator yesterday, and he's on date to be baptized for the 28th of October!  He seems pretty solid, we'll find out tonight, when we teach him again!

That's it for me this week, talk to y'all next week!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Pre-Conference Confusion

Wasabi, everyone!

This week was... a week, that's for sure.  Monday and Tuesday went pretty "normal".  Wednesday, the truck started acting up, so we called the vehicle coordinator who told us to drive to Albuquerque.  It's a good thing we had budgeted our miles, because we coughed up 300 in 3 days.  So on Thursday, we drive the 50-60 miles to ABQ and drop off the truck at the place we were told to, and got picked up by the zone leaders and did weekly planning at their apartment.  Then, we were called about the truck, telling us the fixed the initial problem, but that there was a leak in the truck that we would have to take it back on Friday for them to fix.  We were told that we could drive it, so we did, which we used to drive back to Laguna, to pack 1 day's worth clothes, and we drove back to ABQ that night- thus destroying 170 of our last 350 miles for the month.  

Elder Dial's shoes after Wednesday
That brings us to Friday, which was potentially the worst day of my whole mission. We take in the truck to the place as early as possible (8:30 or so) so it can be fixed and back up to speed.  We go to our zone council meeting, and lunch, which takes us to 12:30ish, and still no call about the truck.  We decided to go do some service with our zone leaders, and that took about 3-4 hours.  Now it's about 4:30, and no call about the truck.  We elected to call them, and they told us, "We can't fix that leak, you should probably take it to the dealership. You can still drive it, though. "  -_-   We decide to take the truck, go to our one appointment in To'hajiilee, then go back to our trailer to grab clothes till Tuesday night, (just in case we needed them).  We were already about an hour late to our appointment (we told them what was going on). But, with the area getting rain last week, and the dirt roads... yeah, we ended up getting stuck for about 45 minutes, even in 4 wheel drive.  At that point, it was about  6:30 when we got stuck. We didn't have phone service either, so it was quite the adventure. When we got out, around 7:15, it would take us 30 minutes to get home, and then the hour to get to ABQ, so we went home instead of to the appointment (Elder Cornelison had gotten out to start pushing, he was all muddy and wanted a shower) (we were able to reschedule with them, though), hoping to get something for dinner before we headed back to ABQ, which didn't happen. With everything that happened that day, when we got back to the zone leaders apartment, we hadn't had dinner, or even personal or comp study.  That took about 140 more miles out, so even if we wanted to go back to our area on Saturday, we couldn't. 

Elder Cornelison's shoes after pushing the truck out
To top it all off, that night, I'm writing in a notebook what I've learned that day, and how I've seen God's hand that day, as I have every day since August. As I'm writing, "I learned today that I hate car troubles" my FLIPPING pen dies.  Needless to say, sleep and General Conference was a glorious welcome to these missionaries.  (The leak in the truck STILL isn't fixed, though.)

On a much happier note, General Conference was fantastic! I am not sad that Elder Hales passed away, though.  I think he had the ideal passing.  The last song he heard was sung by the best choir in all the world, a song that should be our motto throughout life, and was his: "I Believe in Christ". My favorite phrase from that song says:

"And while I strive through grief and pain
His voice is heard, 'Ye shall obtain." 

But, the only catch, is that that part has to be sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  They make that phrase right there, the first climax of the whole song.  If you don't believe me, go and listen to it. 

This week may have been a difficult one for us, but that's alright!  We grow all the time, no matter the grief and pain we all have, if we press forward in faith, "[we] shall obtain". 

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, September 29, 2017

Week 31 in Laguna (has it been that long??)

Hola, everyone!

I'm glad that I got to stay for another transfer, because if I was leaving, I wouldn't have been able to go to the biggest feast of the pueblo, which was last Tuesday.  We went to 4 houses- which means we had 4 meals.  No, it was not "breakfast-lunch-tea time-dinner".  We wish it was that simple. No, we had our own breakfast, then we had 2 lunches, and 2 dinners, which also means that we had all 4 of those within about 5.5 hours...  and with how windy it was, we got a 5th meal with how much dirt ended up in our mouths.  Man I love this area. XD
Also, today was our "Missionary Monday" which is the day that the Albuquerque temple opened just for us missionaries to go and do an endowment session!  I was able to go through for one of my ancestors that I found, and it changed my whole perspective on this work that we are engaged in!  I also got to see a lot of faces I recognized from El Paso, and if I were to count how many times I heard the words "you need to come back to El Paso"  I'd probably be around 30 times just today.
I gave a baptism interview last week, it was really cool!  The person preparing for baptism is in the YSA, his name is Kai, and he's doing awesome!  He's being taught by the sisters in the zone, and because the sisters are in my district, with me as the district leader, I got to talk to him to see if he is ready!  It was really weird, but pretty sweet!
It's General Conference week!  I'm super pumped because that's our time to receive personal revelation from the words of the living prophets and apostles!  I promise you that if you watch conference with a question in mind, and if you go with a desire to know of one thing that God wants you to do to become better, you WILL receive your answer, and that one thing is going to push your limits, but allow you to become more like Christ in a way that somebody in this world needs you to be! 

Someone needs you today for who you are right now,  and more people need you tomorrow because of what you become today!  Keep moving forward with faith, even while the world seems to be falling in fear- fear is not part of who God needs you to become!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Time flies....when the clock is thrown out the window ;)

Hola, everyone!  


This week has pretty groovy for the Laguna, Acoma, and To'hajiilee area, I think. I wasn't there for most of it, I was on exchanges twice in the last week, both times I came in to Albuquerque, so I only got to spend like 4/7 days in my own area.  Speaking of which, I have been in Laguna for right around 7 months now... and I'll be here for another 6 weeks!  This next transfer will be my 6th in Laguna, which is unusual, even for this area!

Exchanges with Elder Robinson, the zone leader here, was a lot of fun!  We ended up talking with some people who are from the Bi-hi faith.  Long story short they believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but that somewhere in the Book of Mormon he prophecies of a man named Ba'ha'u' lah, who is "in fact, the Risen Christ" and that He came about 200 years ago.  We asked about the 1000 years of peace that's supposed to come with Christ's 2nd coming, to which we got the response, "God's timing is mysterious."  -_-  Yeah, we taught her about the Book of Mormon, and how Joseph Smith's own words aren't even in it, but that we have the Doctrine and Covenants that are his words.  Elder Robinson told her that he had read all of the Doctrine and Covenants and that he hadn't seen any reference to Ba'ha'u'lah, and this lady said, "Clearly you missed it."  
Needless to say, we left without setting a return appointment.  XD

Then, on exchanges with Elder Furlong, I was able to test out my Spanish (that I didn't try very hard to learn while I was in El Paso), and it turns out that I can understand the gist of what they're saying, but I can't respond in Spanish.  It was cool to have that feeling of having no idea what's going on again!

Don't ever give up, I'll talk to you all next week!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Is that Tevya???

Hello, all!
This week has been pretty great, I finally got to go somewhere that is not normally open to the missionaries... Sky City!  A little background, Sky City is on the Acoma pueblo that we're technically not allowed to go.  Sky City is on top of a mesa that is off by itself, and it's sacred to the natives, and if you go on top without permission, you could potentially (98% possibility) be in prison for the rest of your life.  But, on feast days, they don't turn anyone away-and Sky City only has 2 feast days a year: the one this last Saturday, called the Governor's feast, and one near Christmas.  The kindness of natives is pretty epic!  Naturally, no pictures, but it's still a great memory to have!

We went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders this last week, and it was weird to be in a house or two where the people didn't speak English... I kinda miss having that feeling of having no idea what's going on because it's all in Spanish!  It was cool, and those Elders, Elder Eskelsen and Elder Furlong, are doing amazing things in the two Spanish branches they cover! 
Now, for the part referencing the title of the email: Tevya.  He is the main character of "Fiddler on the Roof".  Something that happens a lot in Fiddler on the Roof is traditions are broken... and this area is all about traditions.  We invite people to learn more about what we teach, and they say, "I believe in my traditional religion [which is a mix between Catholic and Native American Culture]."  Over the years that this area has been opened, some traditions were created. Elder Jackman and I stopped one- all our planning was dropping by people, we wouldn't have return appointments.  We now set return appointments with a lot of people, sometimes people don't cooperate, but that's alright.  Elder Cornelison and I are tackling another tradition that this area has- what missionaries call the ratio rule.  The ratio rule is a rule that says that there has to be three members of one gender in a house or room to be able for us to enter said room or house, and we've been told that the ratio rule applies to us on the rez, because we wouldn't be able to teach anyone if we did...    Most of our investigators are single older ladies that enjoy having us over, but we have been telling them that we can't go over unless we either bring another male with us, or two more ladies with us or... they can invite their friends!  It's been difficult, but for the last 4 months or so, we haven't had any of our 15 or so investigators keeping commitments.  Just on Saturday, we found out that 2 of our investigators are both progressing- reading the Book of Mormon everyday, praying daily, and they both attended church this last week-along with one of them being on date for baptism!  It's really cool to know that as we are exactly obedient, miracles happen!
That's it for me this week, just keep your head up and never give up!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, August 28, 2017

Lockdown

Hola, ya at eeh, Guuwadzii, hello, family and friends!

This week sure was an interesting one, that's for sure!  We got invited to a free bbq while we were in To'hajiilee last Monday, and we were able to teach 20 people about the Book of Mormon, and also one of them had watched "Meet the Mormons" so she "knew what us missionaries are about". It was really cool, but it would've been better if she asked us herself, but hey- that's why they made that movie in the first place!  It was weird to see that technology like that still exists in this area, and that we have those resources in this area, even though we don't even have phone service in half of our area.  XD

Yesterday was a music fireside that our stake, Albuquerque West stake, hosted, and it was really cool!  They invite missionaries and others to play music that will direct people's thoughts to Christ.  For it to be an effective use of our time, we had to have either a less-active or investigator there... (or be a part of the program) so we were hoping and praying for someone to be there- and we had Alva, an active member, bring her friend, Theresa, an investigator, to it!  It was awesome!

Here's a fun experience for all of you:  Our Branch President in Laguna has been trying to have us to start teaching at the Rehabilitation/jail here in Laguna...  It's been a long process, but we were supposed to start teaching there a week ago on this last Thursday. So on that day, we went to the jail, walked in, but no one was in sight, so we sat down and waited.  We were there for 15 minutes before we saw two security guards who, naturally, asked us what we were doing there.  We told them that we're missionaries and that we were supposed to start teaching the inmates there.  One of their exact words, "Sorry guys, but we've bee on lock down for a couple hours. You're going to have to leave."   Yep, we were in a jail that was on lock down, and we were there for 15-20 minutes.  Man that was fun! XD

Don't any of you ever give up!  God believes in you, so you can do it! 

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's a total eclipse of the heart

Good morning, Family and Friends in the Spudlands!

This week has been pretty good, it's been a lot of eating, and quite a few chewing outs were given/hinted at to us, but that's alright!  The work goes on, that's what matters!
There was a Mesita feast last Tuesday, so we feasted like kings, even though the spicy food 

....  I accidentally sent that first one before I was finished...

That sums up what happened this week. XD

So the spicy/hot food, was fantastic!  I'm still not quite used to it, but my tolerance is increasing. 

Elder Cornelison started to get sick last Wednesday, so that made the rest of the week fun. We went on exchanges with our zone leaders, Elders Damstedt and Robinson on Friday, then Saturday- I got Elder Cornelison's sickness.  So what do we do? We take some meds, and get to work!  One of us will take whatever opportunity we can to take a nap, hopefully get up to full speed before the week is out, and find those people to invite to come closer to Christ!  

I didn't have much to write this week, but we did have a less active member come to church out of the blue!  His name is Paul, and we have been unable to meet with him.  He's a genius, and teaches Navajo at a college, and has been to the temple and everything.  He went less active because of one friend being excommunicated from the church a while back, and he never came back because of it!  He just showed up at church yesterday, and it was really cool to see!

Love you guys, don't forget: "Don't let something to be done become more important than someone to be loved"!  (I might've quoted that wrong, sorry!)

Te whanuanga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, August 18, 2017

Dogs

Hola, friends and family!  How's it all going?

This week has been pretty epic!  I'll start off with the pictures:  This is our guard dog when we are in East Housing of To'hajiilee. We call him Buster. He prepares the way for us.  



This second picture is our stalker stray dog, but we like to think he's making sure that we don't have a sneak attack from behind.  We're well protected when we're in East Housing, even without the dog treats that Elder Cornelison bought. XD



This next picture should tell you how missionary work can drain someone.  That is my companion, taking a nap as we drive. Nothing out of the ordinary right?  Look at his hands.  He's holding the phone, but it's open.  Yes, with how much we drive in this area, it's easy to fall asleep. But, he's so tired, that he fell asleep while he was texting someone; he was in the middle of the text!



Now on to the business that I know you all are just dying to hear:  the work of the Lord.  

It's been epic.  We talked to a less active lady that lives in Seama in Laguna- (Seama's the village that we know the least amount of people) and she had said to our relief society that we could be the home teachers, but that didn't work out. Turns out that she wanted to tell us not to come back or anything, and to tell us that God is not all-powerful, because if He were, He wouldn't need us missionaries to be His helpers.  If God really could do anything and everything He would just pop down here on earth and tell us which church was true and we would have world peace and we wouldn't have to live "in hell" as she said.  While she was saying all this I was listening, politely paying attention, and she then told me that I was too quiet and that she doesn't like that.  So she proceeded to tell me that "whatever you want to say, say it."  Naturally, I bore testimony to her that God puts all this bad in the world because He's helping us fulfill the commandment to "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect" and that we can't be perfect without His help. That because He is an all-powerful God He can help us to fulfill that commandment. If He weren't an all-powerful God Phillipians 4:13 and Luke 1:37 would both be false statements, and things like that.  It was cool to me because it helped me to recognize that as we listen the words will naturally flow out of from our mouths. :)

We are helping a former less active, who is now fully active and has a calling to teach relief society, named Verna, to go to the temple, she's looking for her own family names and is preparing for the first week in September.  Because she was baptized within the last two years, we would be able to go with her!  Woot! Woot!  (That second one was the echo, Bodie ;)

We found a new investigator this week, which is a pretty cool story because we were going to talk to her kids (her family has been taught before and is very difficult to meet with).  She ended up inviting us in and told us that she didn't have time to read "the Bible we gave her" (She meant the Book of Mormon)  and proceeded to ask us that whenever we came by if we would be willing to read it to her and help her understand then she would make time for it.  So we read the intro and all three testimonies in the Book of Mormon to her, and it was really cool!  She lives in San Fidel, which is in the west portion of our area.  Twas pretty sweet!

Lastly, we have a bunch of people who have difficulties forgiving people for things that were said but not meant.  How can we help people to forgive one another? Any suggestions would be awesome!


Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Hump day!

(Sorry this is late, Elder Dial sent this email August 7th)

Hola, people of Earth that are on my email list!  How's it been going?  Everything has been going pretty fantastic down here in the New Mexico Sauna.
First picture: the camel.  His name is Humphrey. He is passed down through the missionaries, but only to missionaries who are about to hit their halfway mark, which, among missionaries, is known as Hump Day.  My zone leader, Elder Nelson who has been out for 6 weeks longer than me, gave me Humphrey. My "hump day" is almost here. 


Second picture:  It's been raining a lot this past week, and multiple times we've been in a position where we could see the whole rainbow. Here's the middle part of it for you. :)


Transfer news: Elder Cornelison and I are staying here in Laguna.  I'll be here for 5 transfers at least, which is the average that people are out here in this area. :)
This week has been pretty legit, we've been meeting with the branch presidents of our branches so that we can work together with them more and be more effective in this area. It's going to be amazing in this area!
We are going to start teaching at the local rehab this week, it's going to be a lot of fun!
The work is moving forward down here, and I know that it is up there as well, so why not be a part of it?  I love you all, and don't forget who you are!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thus begins week 6 of transfer 8

(Sorry this is late, Elder Dial sent this email out on July 31st)

Wasabi, friends, family and fellow missionaries!
This week has been a swell week!  So swell, that I don't remember what happened. XD
We had zone conference this last week, on Friday and it was pretty sweet!  We were able to hear a lot of what the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would like us to do as a mission, and we were able to learn the we have a member of the 70 coming for a mission tour this fall/winter/sometime soonish. XD
We went on exchanges this last week with Elder Snow and with Elder Woods, (Elder Snow came out to Laguna with me) and it was pretty cool!  I took Elder Snow to Sky City, which is a sacred village that is on top of a mesa in Acoma (we're not allowed to go on top of the mesa, but we're allowed to go see it from a distance [well, we're kinda allowed to do that]), and it is intense (no, no in tents, but intense ;)
The Seama feast was this last week, it was pretty cool!  That was my second feast that I've been to, and it was legit!  I hope that I'm here for one more transfer, because if I am, then I would be blessed to go on top of the mesa known as Sky City for a feast.  :D
We had the opportunity yesterday to listen to four returned missionaries give talks in sacrament meeting (2 per branch) and it was really swell!  One of them said a poem that I memorized and wrote down:

"I tried to find myself
Myself I could not see.
I tried to find my God,
My God eluded me.
I tried to find my brother,
And then I found all three."
If you want things to work out in your life, if you want God to help you in your life, go serve others!  Pray as if everything depends on the Lord, and go out and [serve others] as if everything depends on you!  If you serve others with a prayer in your heart, everything is going to work out!  Fare thee all well!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Day of Pioneering

Good morning, everyone!  The world says hello!

This week has been pretty incredible!  It started off that we made salsa at Becky's (Becky's an investigator, she's one of the grandma's that us missionaries adopt while we're here).  Then, we had the Bible Study the next day.  That was awesome, we talked about Christ teaching the Samaritan woman at the well, it was really good!  We went to a relief society activity this week, bread making, and we had nine sisters there!  I know, most of you are thinking, "whoop-dee-doo, nine women there, congrats"  but only three were active members, one less-active, and five non-members!  FIVE. Needless to say, we were pretty stoked! As part of that, one of the active members is moving to Utah, and she was cleaning out her house so she brought some stuff to give away to whoever wanted it...  Becky decided to take a doll...  Long story short, her name is Daisy Dial and I am now a single father. How do you like our family picture?  It was pretty impromptu, they didn't even let me get up from my chair.  XD  (Don't worry, Daisy is in the care of her adopted great-grandma, she's doing fine.)


On Friday, my companion decided to take a challenge that our zone leader gave...  He ate a whole jar of peanut butter for lunch.  That picture is him, with how much peanut butter he would put on the spoon at one time.  What was his prize for doing this gargantuan task? 
A twinkie.  He won a twinkie.  (He doesn't even like twinkies, so his victory tasted pretty good to me. XD) 



With today being Pioneer Day, they both decided to have branch activities to celebrate... last Saturday. We were in Laguna from 11-2, then we helped clean up, to go to To'hajiilee and help set up for theirs from 4-7, then we helped clean that up.  It was a lot of fun, but pretty tiring being outside for the better part of eight straight hours.  The fun part was that To'hajiilee's was a basketball fun day, because the concrete of the basketball court outside got redone, so we played basketball with some kids for two hours (from about 5-7pm), in our proselyting clothes, but tennis shoes instead. 
Then, yesterday we gave talks in To'hajiilee branch, it was pretty good!  We were given our topics/stories to speak on, so we prepared talks... and then we get there, and the member of the branch presidency who asked us to talk says something like this, "The missionaries are our speakers today, and they're going to share with us more about pioneers through the topics they were given."  -_-  Elder Cornelison and I: "... Hey, Elder, do you know how pioneers fit into my talk??"  There were some last minute preparations made, that's for sure. XD
Don't ever give up, Jesus Christ has never given up hope in you, so don't ever give up hope in yourself!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pioneer Day and Fasting

Hola, yateeh friends and family!
For the pictures, with Pioneer day next week, I took a picture of the Mayflower for the sake of the Pilgrims. You're welcome. ;)  The next one is our AC unit... somehow, it froze.  It was so frozen it was singing, "Let it Go".  That made for some really warm nights.  XD  The third picture is of a sign they have here, I've been waiting for 4 months to finally get that picture, and I finally did!  I thought it was pretty fantastic, so you can enjoy the same thing that I have. :)



As for this week, it has flown by!  I don't really remember what happened this week.  So I'll tell you about this coming week: both branches are having a Pioneer Day celebration on Saturday, one branch at 11-2 and the other one from 4-7.  We'll be feasting like kings on that day, which is good because of something else we realized. 
When Elder Torres of the Authority 70 came to the Laguna Branch, he invited the branch to do a month long fast- the way they do that is one family takes one day, then another family does another day, and so on and so forth until the month is up.  They are fasting for missionary opportunities, and for Elder Cornelison and I specifically.  The branch asked us to have one or two days, so we did. We signed up for July 26th.  Guess what's on July 26th?  A flipping feast day!  We are going to be fasting on one of the few days in a year when free food is offered, when we can walk into any house and talk with people [not proselyte, but talk with people] (if we do that, we have to take food, otherwise it's an insult) and we'll be fasting!  That's alright, we're still going to go and learn more about the culture, and visit with the people that we do know or that talk to us first.  We'll do what it takes to help out this branch, though, so we are going to do it willingly. :)

I don't really know what else to say, but know that it was an awesome week, and that God gives us trials, not to weigh us down, but as tools to lift us up!  So rise up and be strong! You were put on this earth to succeed, not to fail!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

America's Birthday

This past week has been pretty swell!   We went on exchanges with the Cottonwood Heights Elders, Elder Snow and Elder Woods, it was a lot of fun, Elder Woods is a beast and knows how to do missionary work!
Elder Cornelison and I are going through the people that we are teaching and striving to teach them the lessons, because I haven't taught many people the lessons while I've been here- and this will help us to be able to find those who are prepared to receive the gospel in this area!
At this point, I don't really know what has happened this week, besides the anniversary of America being born, which is awesome!  (Not me forgetting what happened, but that America was born ;)
This week in my personal study a lot of things have gone back to the fact that is shared in the greatest throw-down in the Book of Mormon: Alma 5.

"38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd."

I believe that there are no coincidences.  I believe there is a difference between hearing and listening.  We hear the teacher talking, but we listen when he says the word "test".  That is the difference.  A lot of people (even members of the church) can hear Christ calling us- they even sing about it (Hymn #6 "Israel, Israel, God is Calling")  but we're not quite listening. Who's to blame us? There are many things in the world that are distracting *cough cough* smartphones *cough cough*.  Christ is calling us each in the same way; it's tailored to what we- specifically you and I- need.  But sometimes, when we're not listening, we have the nerve to tell people which way we want them to go, but not where Christ needs them to go.  That is one of the difficulties of this life: accepting that God needs us to go where God needs us to go, and accepting that maybe, just maybe, He needs us to walk a slightly different path from each other, but to get us where He needs us to go.  So, don't try and tell someone what to do or where they need to go, because you can't hear what Christ is telling them to do, where to go, or how to jump over that wall that you can't see is holding them back.  I don't know if this is making sense to you, but the gist is to come to terms that not everything is in His hands, so relax, trust Him, and do what you can to help others on their path to Him. 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy Independence Day-but at least it's not resurgence!

Happy birthday in June to:
Halle
and if there was anybody else, let me know, because I don't really remember June at all!!

As for the rest of the week, I was doing fine. I was doing fine with being senior companion, taking over the area and all was going swell.  Then Friday came, and we almost died.  That picture of the dog? That is the equivalent to the Beast from The Sandlot. 



Except for the detail that if you saved his life he'd still want to kill you.  He's usually on a chain that just barely doesn't reach the porch.  He's the guard dog for three less-active kids, and he will usually try to kill us. The trick is to carry a rock and toss it up and down so he'll leave you alone (which is what I did). So we made it to the porch, and they weren't home. As we're leaving, before we're off the porch, he runs at us- but his chain BREAKS.  That was the second time in my life where I have been so terrified that I couldn't feel my legs.  Luckily, he didn't know how to get up the porch, but it was only a matter of time.  We said a prayer, thought of some things to do, (which included throwing a blanket on him and running for life for the truck and if he got too close I still had the rock and 6 years of soccer).  We ended up deciding to test out our faith.  We were just going to walk out there, and pray he didn't come after us.  As I'm weighing the options, I have this conversation with God that goes a little bit like this:
Me: "If we do this, will you protect us? I trust you, but I'm slightly terrified."
God: "If you trust me, leave the rock."
Me: "Aww, do I have to??"
So, we made it to the truck, and the dog didn't move till I was almost in the truck... we know have claw marks on the drivers' side door...  God will protect His servants!
Then, another panic attack happened on Sunday.  Elder Torres, who is an authority seventy (not a general authority seventy, but an authority seventy) show up randomly at Church for both of our branches- Laguna/Acoma branch, and the To'hajiilee branch.  He made a couple bold promises to both branches- including that if they did those invitations that he left with us, there wouldn't be enough room in the building for all the people that would come.  It was pretty epic!
Also, the other picture- that is my new companion, Elder Cornelison. 



He's from Richland Washington, he's been out for about 16 months or so, and to sum up his personality, imagine the happiest person on earth combined with my cousin, Levi, and boom, you have Elder Cornelison.  He's a beast, and he's picking up on the area really fast- especially because half of the area is related, whether it be through clan or a blood relative, it's really confusing.  The joys of serving around people who didn't know about the word 'cousin' so they would call each other 'brother' or 'sister' when they are actually cousins.  XD
Quick joke/spiritual thought:  
Two married brothers are talking about their wives to each other:
Bro 1: "Man, my wife treats me like a god!"
Bro 2: "What, she treats you like a king and worships you?"
Bro 1: "No, she ignores me until she needs me."
Is prayer your steering wheel or your flat tire?
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I distinctly remember July was last year!! ;)

Hola, family!
Tis been a swell week down in the land of enchantment!   A couple unusual experiences, I can't think of any right now, but know that they happen!  We went on exchanges twice this last week, and for the first one I got to eat some oryx (see picture below for more info) or however you spell it (autocorrect's not saving me here), but I got to eat some (in meatloaf form) with one of our active member families/part member families. It was pretty tasty! 

 
This coming week is transfers- meaning transfers is tomorrow, we found out last week what's going on, and I'm staying in Laguna for at least another 6 weeks.  My companion, Elder Jackman, is going to Socorro, New Mexico, so my new comp will be Elder Cornelison, the most cheerful person I've ever known!  He's a beast, and it's going to be a lot of fun!
We had a less-active that we've been unable to meet with come to church yesterday, it was awesome!  He's been struggling to decide between the Native religion and us, and he's been choosing the Native religion for as long as I've been here, but he and his wife just showed up out of the blue yesterday!  We don't know why, but we do know that it was incredible!
I think I'm going to be a pro gardener/weeder when I get back, for service we weed a lot (a LOT) for people, but we're weeding their front yard, because it's too expensive/a lot of work for grass and such out here in the Land Down Under Colorado.  That's alright, though, it's a lot of good practice, and adjusting the schedule so we're not becoming crispy missionaries (in my case I'd be a baked potato), it's bueno fun!
Improve yourself everyday, you don't have time to waste wittling away the hours of the day!  Every moment is a moment that could've been used to help someone-even if it is "just a smile". 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The unexpected unexpectedly happened....expectedly

Hola family and friends!
A lot of things happened this week, so focus, Dory, focus as there is a lot of names to be given, puns to unleash, and quotes to share and this is the last time we'll be able to talk before the test next week.  ;)
Tuesday was our Bible study, and the first picture is the group that showed up.  


In the front is our branch president, President Begay and his wife right next to him.  Alva is right next to her, and the two people in between Elder Jackman and I are her daughter, RuthAnn and granddaughter, Taylor. RuthAnn has been less-active for a guesstimated 10 years at least (Taylor isn't a member), and she moved back to Laguna, the village of Casa Blanca, to get out of a rough situation. They now live in a "barn" that is probably barely bigger than the cars you all drive, and they had to get all the mice out and even then they wake up in the middle of the night with spiders on them.  But we helped them a little bit with the cleaning and we'll be weeding for them this week.  They ended up coming to the Bible Study (this week was Christ's baptism), and RuthAnn shared quite a bit and said that her moving back here is her gentle reminder from God to read the scriptures and come closer to him, it was an awesome spiritual experience.  Near the end of the study, Elder Jackman then felt that we needed to ask Taylor what she feels.  She responded and said something similar to, "I want to follow the path of Jesus Christ and be baptized."  The Spirit came in and basked in the 10 seconds of silence that followed.  We will be meeting with them this week to begin the lessons and figure out when a good date for her baptism will be. :D
Then Wednesday happened.  I almost got away with not telling anyone that it was my birthday, but we went to the senior center, where within five seconds of being there, Elder Jackman started the wildfire that happens when you tell one older lady a secret and she has a bunch of friends there: that lady asked me how old I was turning, then she guessed 16.  I thought she was joking, but I guess I'm only good at sensing jokes, not seriousness.  That sums up most of that day. XD
One of the ladies there, an investigator named Theresa, found out and went and made me a cake and brought it to the relief society activity, which is the second picture, the strawberry cake.  It was a nice surprise, and I would've been fine without the cake, but it was really nice.  She said she was my mom for the day because she made the cake. XD


Now we jump to Saturday.  We had been helping Theresa with her mom's 93 birthday party that was going to be Saturday so when it came time for the party to actually start, she said how grateful she was for the people showing up and everything... then she said, "Oh, before I forget, I want to introduce two of my friends, Elder Jackman and Elder Dial.  They're from the Mormon church and they have helped a lot with this party.  If you need any help with yard work or house work, contact them because they'll help and they'll share some of the word of God from the Bible with you."  We were completely caught off guard, but it was awesome to have an investigator do that without prompting!
Picture three: that is one investigator, Becky.  She has been taught for over a year, and she has only one thing holding her back from being baptized: she's been smoking for 50 years. This is the relationship we have with her.  She gets mad at us if we don't act ourselves around her or if we don't treat her house like our own.  She goes in for surgery this week, and we might not be able to see her for 2 weeks, at least, but with transfers happening while she'll be gone, we decided to get pictures now just to be safe. :) 


Sorry this one is such a long one, but know that I love you all, and there has been a lot of good things happening here and there, I'm sure!  Keep a smile on your face, and don't ever try to be someone you're not- but try to become a better you today than you were yesterday!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

6-12-17

Happy birthday in May to:

Grandma D
Grandpa Crook
Jakeb W
Todd
Hope it was awesome!!

To answer the question that I knew all of you wanted to know but nobody really asked, this first picture shows how dusty and dirt-y this area is.  I had cleaned my shoes literally the day before, and this is what happens.  XD


The next picture, answers the age-old question: How do you fit 3 people on one bike?  Now you know.  Those are 3 kids, age 13, 11, and 10.  They are awesome, and hilarious!  One thing holding them back, is that they sleep in... so it's hard for them to come to church.  We've been helping them to read the Book of Mormon everyday- or even to listen to it, which is what Gaybert, the 13 year old, does, and he's awesome, we're working on getting him to the temple!


Everything is going swell down here!  We took the relief society president of the To'hajiilee branch to a less active that lives on the top of a mesa, in the area we classify as "Timbuktu" because it's about 20 minutes from the nearest civilization, if it can even be called civilization, because it's a flock of housen that is as many houses as Brentway is... yeah, the people live really close together out here. ;)  But they were talking in Navajo for 85% of the time, partly because that less-active doesn't speak English very well, partly because it was more effective to communicate that way for her.  It was flipping awesome!
The stake conference with Elder K. Brett Natress of the 70 was pretty awesome, he was a mission president of the Gilbert Arizona Mission when he was called to be a General Authority 70, and he was at the temple rededication in Idaho Falls this last week.  It was pretty sweet!  

Recently, I've been thinking about the difference between guilt and discouragement:  Guilt is what God created to motivate us to change and to become better.  Discouragement is what Satan uses to prevent us from trying again- to destroy our hope and faith in ourselves and in Christ.  It makes sense why Satan wants to destroy our hope and faith in Christ, but why in ourselves??  Because the belief in ourselves, namely that we are children of God and that He loves us, is what motivates us to even want to believe in Christ!  When we know who we are and our relationship with God, that's when "[We] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]" (Phillipians 4:13) and when "... with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37).
"If your self worth is dependent on anything other than your relationship with Christ, you are in deep trouble."                                   -Hyrum Smith, (not Joseph's brother, but a different one)
That being said, why do you think the first song in the primary song book is "I am a Child of God"??
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, June 5, 2017

The beginning of the freakishly-hot months

Hola, dear family and friends! 
This week was pretty bueno.  I don't really remember what happened but it was good, as it usually is in the service of the Lord. :)
Oh, I know! There's a thing that exists, and it's called "Faith dinners".  When you don't have very much money(broke), you go to a restaurant and pray that someone will pay for your food.  We did not do that this week, but we pretty much ran out of food.  Next thing we know, the Branch clerk in the Laguna branch tells us that he'll bring us food and desserts every weekend, and two members called us and said, "Aren't you coming over?  We signed up to have you over for dinner [or lunch]."  The best part was, was that we were thinking, "well, we have enough that we can do it".  God definitely takes care of those in His service!
Next we made a family search account with a less active member who has records of her family history oozing out of the wazoo. If you want to see the Spirit of Elijah in action, create a familysearch.org account with someone who has records of her family history account oozing out of the wazoo.  She wouldn't let us leave for 45 minutes!  She even offered us dinner (which is good, because we didn't really have much to choose from back at the trailer) to keep us doing something while she was putting her parents and grandparents information.
This weekend is going to be sweet!  It's stake conference, and we are having a general authority come, his name is Elder K. Brett Nattress of the Seventy.  It's going to be incredible!
Everything is going fantasticly, so make every day a good day up there in "Potato-land" and surrounding areas. :)
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thursday, June 1, 2017

MAYbe May is almost over

Yep.  I ran out of puns. 
Picture number one: We were doing service for a member, helping her build her chicken coop, and we found this poor guy... I guess he's pretty holy, right??  He seemed pretty dehydrated.  I don't think that it was pretty good for his health.  ;)


Picture number two: we were at an investigator's house on one of the Spanish land grants, where they have an open grazing rule/law/thingy.  That silver truck is ours, so I almost had a quick-draw with the cow. You know, the quick-draw from the old Wild West movies??  Yeah, I had mercy on the cow, though, so I didn't do it.  I would've won, though.  XD

As for the rest of the week, twas pretty fantastic.  We went on exchanges with Elder Snow and Elder Schraedel, and it was pretty fun! I got to help prepare for a baptism that they had on Tuesday, it was quite the adventure.
We also got to go on splits with our Branch Presidency in the Laguna/Acoma branch, which is really unusual to do, but it happened!  It was beneficial to help them see what we see with the people that we teach, and to see how they see those people! 
Then... we didn't have water for most of a day- no showers or anything!  Don't worry, we told our branch president about it, and he let us go to his house in the morning to get cleaned up and everything, two hours before we went on splits. 
It's been a lot of fun and a lot of amazingness has happened this week, including us getting permission and preparing for a Bible Study on a weekly basis!  And, when school starts up again, they're going to start a seminary class for the youth out here, with the missionaries as the teachers! I might be a seminary teacher!!! ;)  Now, back to the Bible Study, because we're doing things about that today.  We are teaching from the New Testament, specifically about Christ's life, following the Bible Videos.  Today is the first day of it, we teach the first one tonight.  Guess what that means today is???   Yep, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.  XD  Which leads me to my spiritual thought for the day:
Lehi's dream of the tree of life contained in 1 Nephi 8.  But, I'll be going to when Nephi has the same vision (including the interpretation) as found in 1 Nephi 11.  When Nephi is shown the tree of life and is asked what he desires, he responds in verse 11 that he wants to know the interpretation.  That being said, if there are no coincidences (and there aren't!) why, in verses 12-21, would Nephi be shown the Christmas story??  Simple- what is the love of God the Father??  Go to John 3:16-17.  THAT is why Nephi was shown the Christmas Story, why we invite people to come to Christ. Because God sent His son for us because HE LOVES US. Don't ever forget it!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!!

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, May 22, 2017

I don't know about you, but I MAY be feeling 22 (ooo-ooo)

I hope you all have realized that I have been trying to do puns as my subject line for the month of May, I may or may not have quoted a Taylor Swift song right there... but I've been running out of ideas.  Good thing I only have one more week of May puns, then all is well!

As for the rest of the week, we had interviews with President Guffey, which was amazing!  He's such an inspired leader, he's exactly the influence I need at this time of my life!
Next, the mission has been working more to focus on the mid-teens to YSA age people to teach, but we don't know very many in our area that fit that type...  But we are now going to start teaching one who is! His name is Raven, and we've been trying to meet with his older brother, Gabe Jr., for a couple weeks, and again this last week when he went over, Gabe wasn't home.  Raven was babysitting Gabe's kids, so we talked to him a little bit on his porch... More specifically, Elder Jackman talked to him on his porch, I was keeping his 3 year-old niece entertained so he could feel the Spirit more as the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was being taught.  We're going to meet with him again this week, I'll let you know how that goes!
Also, I understand why Dad likes farming/gardening now!  It's pretty fun (I still don't quite like weeding, but everything else is fun!)
Now, for the thought of the day:  President Uchtdorf has said that, "Exaltation is our goal; discipleship is our journey."  We sing a song that says how we become disciples of Christ: "As I have loved you, love one another, by this shall men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another."  That being said, and in the words of President Guffey, "If you don't have love for one another, whose disciple are you?"  What are you doing for your fellow children of God to show you love them?? Or, what aren't you doing?? Now I ask, will you do one thing better to show your love for someone today? Not tomorrow, not some day, today?  After all, there are only seven days in a week and "Some day" is not one of them! 
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
--
Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I called you MAYbe??

 Hey-o family and friends!! 

Here's a list of skills that I didn't think I'd gain while on a mission:
1) corsage making (yes, that picture is one that I made [the other ones I made were crappy, so no pictures for you])


2) list-making is still being learned
Anyways, this week was a great week!  We had zone conference on Friday, and that was amazing!  Then we went on exchanges, so I was in Albuquerque with Elder Nelson, while Elder Jackman and Elder Fonua were in Laguna.  It was a lot of fun!  Transfers are tomorrow, so I'm not going anywhere, and neither is Elder Jackman- we're both staying in this area!  It'll be a lot of fun, and there is a lot of work to do now that we both know the area pretty well!
Also, Happy Mother's Day yesterday, Mom!  It was awesome to see you guys via skype!  Hope it was a good day for all you mothers!
We met with an investigator this week, her name is Marie, and she is an amputee, she doesn't have a left leg below the knee.  What does she tell us about her leg?  It's name is "Bob the Knob".  
She feel a couple weeks ago, so her kids called her and asked how Bob was doing.  She responded by saying that, "He's had a headache for two weeks, but he's alright." XD  It's pretty epic!

Everything has been going pretty swell down here in Laguna, Acoma, and To'hajiilee!  I know that this is a short letter, but just know that God needs you!  He always has and He always will! Don't ever give up!!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial